Pubdate: Sat, 23 Oct 2004
Source: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK)
Copyright: 2004 Fairbanks Publishing Company, Inc.
Author: Jay Stange


To the editor:

In 1972, Alaskans voted overwhelmingly (86 percent in favor) to enact
the Privacy Amendment to our state Constitution. It guarantees every
Alaska citizen the right to do whatever she wants in the privacy of
her home as long as she is not harming herself or others.

Alaska and its residents have changed a lot since then, but I feel the
Last Frontier is still one of the best places in the world for us to
live free from discrimination based on sex, religion, race or any
other potential prejudice. We may go to different churches and vote
for different candidates, but we're all Alaskans. We still respect
each other's freedom.

I am a strong supporter of Measure 2, which would force the state
Legislature to get off its collective behind and regulate marijuana
sales in Alaska. Marijuana is widely used in our state. In fact, most
kids say it's much easier to get than alcohol or tobacco. Our Alaska
Constitution and our Supreme Court say we can use it in the privacy of
our homes, but our lawmakers have never bothered to ensure that it is
kept out of the hands of kids. Measure 2 would make it illegal for
anyone under 21 to buy marijuana and, more importantly, it prompts the
Legislature to do a job it has ignored: keep marijuana out of the
hands of kids.

This initiative would regulate marijuana sales much like alcohol or
tobacco, so we can keep our eye on who is buying it. You can't buy
alcohol or tobacco without ID in Alaska, but ask any high school kid
if she can find marijuana and she'll say yes. That's because drug
dealers don't ask for ID But we should. We must take marijuana sales
out of the black market if we're going to have any control over who
smokes it. Vote Yes on 2 to protect our kids in Alaska. And by the
way, this letter was not ghost-written by Lt. Gov. Loren Leman or any
of his staffers.


Jay Stange

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